Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

18TH April 2019

Angel Investor - Business Tricks - Family and Friends - Timeless - Uncategorized

Busy is often BS

We’ve been talking an awful lot about work norms. Goldman Sachs no longer requires suits. IBM allows flex time. MasterCard permits video attendance at weekly touch base calls. This is all terribly progressive, and probably helps with attracting, retaining, and motivating A Players. But one thing remains a fallacy; the common safe place called “being busy”. Maybe it’s the old puritan work ethic. Maybe it’s from back in the days when people- most- billed by the hour. Those warriors who worked on weekends. Brought files along on vacations. Always had a conference call, or a reason to burn the midnight oil. How impressive. What a workhorse. Such a team player. An animal. We gave you a pass because you were full on, all day. Frantically moving from one thing to […]

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13TH April 2019

Business Tricks - Entrepreneur - Leftovers - Platforms - Timeless - Uncategorized

We are the Factory

I’ve spent the last two years super optimized on one platform- I can’t believe the increased efficiency, and the decreased anxiety of this move. I credit Don Dalrymple. First, about my work: I mentor startup founders, and I am quite active in that role. Which means I have to be able to plug and play into their systems seamlessly. I do not, hell I can not dictate which conference line to use, which product management tool, which crm, etc. I have to adapt, quickly, to whatever they choose. It used to be maddening, but I flipped that; now I enjoy the challenge of learning how they communicate by diving in quickly, so we can get to the real stuff. Which meant my stuff had to be super organized. It wasn’t. […]

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08TH April 2019

Business Tricks - Entrepreneur - Food - Good Story - Incredulous - Timeless - Uncategorized

Avocados teach Values!

Entrepreneurs are mad for Avocados- in shakes, on toast, even guacamole. it’s perfect as protein, and even better as a value reminder. Yes, true! I caught Seth’s Godin mention the Avocado principle recently: it’s a well cited mantra in the Bay and especially at 500 where I learned so many incubator scale tricks. It goes something like this: If you wait until you really want an avocado, the market won’t have any ripe ones. You need to buy them in advance. But… If you eat an avocado that’s not quite ripe, you won’t enjoy it. AND, you won’t have a chance to enjoy it tomorrow, when it would have been perfect if you had only waited. If you live your life based on instant gratification and little planning, you’ll either never have […]

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05TH April 2019

Angel Investor - Incubator - Leftovers - Social - Timeless - Uncategorized

Happy Collisions are actually a Developers Mantra

I don’t write about real estate much- I don’t invest there. But I wanted to write about Clay Fowler and Spinnaker, who have another project going up, along the I-95 corridor in Norwalk- you can’t miss it. I completely love his philosophy of design and space, where he goes out of his way to encourage interesting, curious people from different walks of life to have space for “happy collisions” on a regular basis. I’ve lived and done business in his buildings- which have done a lot to make Sono the cool place it has been for… 20+ years. And each time I return there, I find something new and different. A bakery inspired by Martha’s kitchen. A pool table in the lobby of an office building. A rooftop with community […]

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22TH March 2019

Food - Leftovers - Social - Timeless - Uncategorized

A Diet should include ANYTHING you consume.

We did a Whole 30 diet this year… plantains seemed to be the most appreciated Whole 30 hack… I probably ate too many of them. But otherwise, I learned to have a discerning eye for labels, looking for sugar, additives and sneaky stuff I had never noticed before. So, with a little self control, I was pretty much able to regulate anything that entered my body… But with all this effort around regulating what goes into our body, what about what goes into the mind… “George Orwell got it backward. Big Brother isn’t watching. He’s singing and dancing. He’s pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother’s busy holding your attention every moment you’re awake. He’s making sure you’re always distracted. He’s making sure you’re fully absorbed. He’s making sure […]

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11TH March 2019

Adventure - Geopolitical - Good Story - Legends and tales - Timeless - Uncategorized

Hold my beer #6- for Woman’s Day- Freddie Oversteegen

Freddie vs. the Nazis “Life is 10% what happens, and 90% what you do about it” … Art Spencer would tell me that every day of my life, and among Stoics this seems to be the popular mantra these days as well. No hold-my-beer series would be complete without at least one undercover operative fighting for what they believed right at the time, and what in time, proved so right. All while having no control over the war, only what she did to react to it… Freddie Oversteegen was born in Haarlem, near Amsterdam on September 6, 1925.. then, in her teens, when the Nazi’s rolled into town, Freddie, her older sister Truus and their friend Hannie Schaft, blew up bridges and railway tracks with dynamite, smuggled Jewish children out […]

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07TH March 2019

AppTaris - Baseball - Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneurs - Family and Friends - Legends and tales - Uncategorized

Working from Home has its rewards.

Working from Home today… LOL I was working in Tampa last week, visiting a dear friend and successful founder (same guy). Naturally, we chose to meet at the Yankee game. Double bonus- I got to see my hometown Pirates play. Two things struck me as worth mentioning (the score was not one of them). It’s amazing to me how much Hope there is at the beginning. Spring training is a great example of that. Pitchers and catchers report in mid-March, fully expecting to make the team and to make a difference. Teams are there a week or two later, and scrimmages and spring games begin shortly after- probably too shortly thereafter. The weather is great, players smile and joke around. Veterans grab gloves and hats for rookies stranded at second and run them […]

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07TH March 2019

Angel Investor - Family Office - Leftovers - Social - Timely - Uncategorized

Update on the Devils Lettuce

The NY Times had a recent feature on the family behind Charlotte’s Web. Yes, a family story, about the family business. It’s truly amazing how legitimized the industry is becoming, while Opioids have become the pain management whipping boy – this Samantha Bee takedown is epic, and hilarious. I’ve watched from a distance as the cannabis market has growth it’s way across the US and Canada. Well, actually, Canada is totally covered at this point. And it looks like the states are smelling the tax revenue. (I have one CBD investment I manage, and no relationship with the substance in question). I’m not sure where all the health concerns, gateway arguments, and the like pan out, but I’m fascinated by the history of cannabis and the US. I’ also rewarded […]

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14TH February 2019

Uncategorized

Supreme Criteria for Decisions

I’ve been giving thought to how- and why- I make decisions, especially the hard ones. I really subscribe to the Scott Adams approach, which he called “systems thinking.”  This basically states, among other things, that systems are more powerful than goals… and as a Steven Covey/ Seven Habits guy that almost hurts. If you want to reduce stress (as a goal), it’s the systems you use that will propel you there: (variations of diet, exercise, rest, recovery, mediation, etc.). Wanting something is not as powerful as doing something over and over, toward that end- and avoiding the detrimental things that tempt us along the way. In business, my simplified and slightly adapted version consists of two criteria. Number one: I’m choosing projects based on the relationships and skills they will […]

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13TH February 2019

Race to the Bottom - Social - Timely - Uncategorized

Perdue Perdone

I’m sure there’s more to the story but Samantha Bee somehow makes it funny as she eviscerates Perdue and their owners for “branded, institutionalized drug dealing” . The You-Tube segment is painful to watch, perhaps because there are so many uncomfortable facts therein. Not the least of which, 130 people per day have died of addiction to Oxycontin. 130 overdoses per day. The marketing was silent on this, at best. As Samantha says …Even drug dealers will say “don’t take too much of this lady… I can tell by your Blazer… that you cannot handle this! No one is blameless I suspect. Maybe this is one step that helps clean it up. And somehow she made it funny.  

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